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World Bank sanctions $300 million for building roads in Tamil Nadu

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

To improve the capacity, quality and safety of Tamil Nadu’s core road network, World Bank has approved a $300 million loan for the ‘Second Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project ‘.

To help the state fulfill its vision, Second Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project will address the accumulated investment needs by supporting upgradation of 1,175 km of the core road network.

The project will adopt a contracting arrangement to encourage economies of scale. It will also offer stronger incentives for performance, viz., Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contracts (430 km), Public Private Participation (PPP) concessions (145 km) and long-term Performance-Based Maintenance Contracts (PBMC, 600 km).

“While Tamil Nadu has made impressive economic progress, the state government recognizes the need for improving infrastructure, particularly road infrastructure, to make growth more inclusive.  Better roads will help improve access to markets, healthcare and education while creating new jobs and boosting agriculture,” said Onno Ruhl, World Bank Country Director for India.

“Rapid growth has also led to substantial increase in vehicle ownership. An important aspect of the project will be to strengthen road safety in order to bring down the number of fatalities and serious injuries from traffic accidents in the state,” Ruhl added.

The first project – Tamil Nadu Road Sector Project – supported upgrading (724 km) and maintaining (1,030 km) roads along with several initiatives to strengthen institutions as well as road safety. These included a road safety policy, a Road Accident Database Management System, a Road Safety Fund, and black-spot improvement.

During the project period, number of fatalities from road accidents per 10,000 registered vehicles reduced from 19 in 2003 to 11 in 2012. The percentage of roads in poor condition in the state’s core road network (CRN), comprising state highways and major district roads, reduced from about 35 per cent to 8 per cent. Also, the share of roads with less than 2-lane width in CRN decreased from 60 per cent to 38 per cent.

“The first project had a number of institutional successes but there is also an unfinished agenda. The project will support the Government of Tamil Nadu in implementing a more sustainable strategy involving innovative contracting structures with scope for greater efficiency, a gradual shift towards more optimal allocation of budgetary support towards capacity expansion and maintenance and a more coordinated approach to road safety at the state and field levels,” said Pratap Tvgssshrk, Senior Transport Specialist and World Bank’s Task Team Leader for the project.

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Jayalalithaa’s death: Apollo submits documents

The mystery still continues after Apollo submitted treatment related documents

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The death of Amma continues to be a mystery. Wikimedia commons
The death of Amma continues to be a mystery. Wikimedia commons
  • OPS was the first top AIADMK leader to allege that no one was allowed access to Amma.
  • Ministers and party leaders had various version of the scenario.
  • Following all this, an inquiry commission was set up to probe the matter.
Sasikala has been alleged of not allowing access to anyone while Amma was in hospital. IANS
Sasikala has been alleged of not allowing access to anyone while Amma was in the hospital. IANS

On Friday, Apollo Hospitals submitted two suitcases packed with documents related to the treatment given to J. Jayalalithaa to an inquiry commission set up to probe her death. The commission was also set up to investigate the circumstances that led to Jayalalithaa’s hospitalization and her treatment.

The commission, headed by retired high court judge Justice Arumugasamy, followed by several ministers and party members alleged that they were not allowed to meet the AIADMK chief while she was in the hospital.

V.K. Sasikala’s advocate Raja Senthurapandian has been ordered by the panel to appear before it on 22nd January.

You may also like: All you need to know about T.T.V Dinakaran

Background

After O Panneerselvam alleged that ‘there’s more’ to Jayalalithaa’s death, what followed was a mirage of statements from several party leaders and ministers. The various version came up regarding the scenario of Amma’s treatment.

Opposition DMK had demanded a CBI inquiry.

OPS’s role

OPS was the first leader who came out with allegations against Sasikala, Wikimedia commons
OPS was the first leader who came out with allegations against Sasikala, Wikimedia commons

O Panneerselvam was the first top AIADMK leader to allege that there’s more to the death of Amma. All of it wasn’t made public, he said. OPS also said he wasn’t allowed to meet Jayalalithaa.

The inquiry commission was set up after the AIADMK merger of EPS and OPS factions.

The inquiry was a pre-condition for the merger set by OPS. This was seen as to move to target Sasikala as she was the only one who was allowed access to Amma, at the hospital.

Panneerselvam had also accused Sasikala of ‘forcing him’ to resign when he was the acting Chief Minister. The picture which came up was, Sasikala is trying to assume power.

Also read: Iron Lady of India: Jayalalithaa was an inspiration for Women

Ministers and party leaders

Observing the differences between the ruling AIADMK leaders, Opposition took advantage to demand a CBI enquiry. Wikimedia commons
Observing the differences between the ruling AIADMK leaders, Opposition took advantage to demand a CBI enquiry. Wikimedia Commons

The inquiry commission was lost in a maze of contradictions as various ministers had various versions of Jayalalithaa’s treatment at Apollo Hospital.

Forest Minister Dindigul Sreenivasan: Sasikala’s family manipulated Jayalalithaa’s treatment and also prevented access to VIP visitors like Arun Jaitley and Rahul Gandhi. This was done to ensure so that the truth about her hospitalization doesn’t come out. Only Sasikala and her family had access to Amma. Even the ministers weren’t allowed.

Tourism Minister Vellamandi N. Natarajan: He repeated the charge. “The truth is that none of us saw Jayalalithaa during that period of hospitalization. We only saw her body when it was brought out of the hospital lift on December 4 night.” said the minister.

Whereas Cooperation Minister Sellur K. Raju differed on the matter. “All of us, ministers, saw Jayalalithaa when she was undergoing treatment at Apollo. This is the truth,” he said.

P Vetrivel, a disqualified MLA from Dinakaran’s camp had released a video in December last year which show Amma resting on her hospital bed and sipping fruit juice while watching TV. He said it’s untrue that no one met Jayalalithaa during her treatment days. Dinakaran claims the video was shot by Sasikala herself.

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